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Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (PSYT90060)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 6.25On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codePSYT90060
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities have higher rates of psychiatric illness than the general population, yet much of this psychiatric morbidity remains unrecognised, undiagnosed and untreated. Federal and state government policies mandate that people with disabilities access generic mental health services. The introduction of this selective will provide an opportunity for candidates to develop a solid approach to the assessment and care of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorder. Topics covered include philosophical and legal issues, communication skills, the epidemiology, aetiology, assessment and management of psychiatric disorders in people with intellectual and development disabilities as well as mental health policy and services.

Intended learning outcomes

  • Understand and discuss the importance and impact of philosophical, ethical, humanitarian and legal concepts on the care of and quality of life of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Identify and assess the biopsychosocial risk factors for psychiatric disorders in people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Understand the importance of identifying the cause of an intellectual/ developmental disability and behavioural phenotypes
  • Recognise and/or research syndromes and behavioural phenotypes
  • Identify barriers to diagnosis of psychiatric disorder in people with intellectual disability and explain how you would minimise these barriers in your practice of psychiatry
  • Explain how psychiatric disorders present in people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Assess and differentiate the causes of challenging behaviour
  • Conduct a modified psychiatric assessment and formulate a diagnostic hypothesis and management plan
  • Appraise various service models for delivering psychiatric services to people with intellectual/developmental disabilities
  • Begin to incorporate new learning from this selective into a reflective cycle of psychiatric practice

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Written assignment of 2000 words, due within 3 weeks of teaching period end date (85%)
  • Participation in class discussions and learning activities, throughout term (15%)
  • Attendance: 75% of sessions (for face-to-face students) OR 75% completion of online modules (for online students) (Hurdle requirement)

Dates & times

  • May
    Principal coordinatorJennifer Torr
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours6 weeks x 3.5 hour seminars
    Pre teaching start date 3 May 2019
    Pre teaching requirementsDuring the pre-teaching period, students should familiarise themselves with LMS and may like to take the opportunity to read through preliminary information about the subject and the services and support that is available to them.
    Teaching period10 May 2019 to 14 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date 3 May 2019
    Census date17 May 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail14 June 2019
    Assessment period ends 5 July 2019

    May contact information


    Administrative contact:

    Debra Menser


Time commitment details


Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Royal College of Psychiatrists (2001) DC-LD, Diagnostic Criteria for Psychiatris Disorders for Use in Adults with Learning Disabilities / Mental Retardation, Gaskell, London.

    Deb S, Matthews T, Holt G & Bouras N. (2001) Practice Guidelings for the Assessment and Diagnosis of Mental Health Problems in Adults with Intellectual Disability, Pavilion, Brighton.

    Russell O (ed) (1997) The Psychiatry of learning Disabilities, Gaskell, London.

    Bouras N (ed) (1999) Psychiatric and behaviour Disorders in Developmental Disabilities and Mental Retardation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Janicki M P, Dalton A J (1998) Dementia, Ageing and Intellectual Disabilities: A Handbook, Taylor and Francis, New York.

  • Subject notes

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (CAP), subject to applicants meeting the entry requirements for the course.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    non-assessed study mode only

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 20 June 2019